The waters of the land we find in the Gospel of John. There the Lord Jesus speaks of “rivers of living water”, that is the Holy Spirit (Jn 7:37-3937Now on the last day, the great [day] of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.38He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’”39But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet [given], because Jesus was not yet glorified.). The waters – “the brooks, fountains and springs” – are needed to bring out the fruit of the land. We need the Holy Spirit to understand the blessings.
The Lord Jesus came to declare us the Father. Knowing the Father, that is eternal life (Jn 17:33This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.). The Holy Spirit has come to be in us “a well of water springing up to eternal life” (Jn 4:14b14but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”). The Holy Spirit is in us to give us the enjoyment of eternal life. The “brooks of water” are the streams that flow out of our innermost being by the power of the Holy Spirit (Jn 7:3838He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’”). We do not keep the blessings of the eternal life for ourselves, but pass them on to others. The “fountains and springs” are found in everything the Lord Jesus speaks to His disciples in the upper room and then to His Father (John 14-17). In those chapters he says a lot about the Holy Spirit.
These are all waters other than those of Deuteronomy 6 (Deu 6:1111and houses full of all good things which you did not fill, and hewn cisterns which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you eat and are satisfied,). There it is about self-dug wells with a collection of water, that is what others have drawn. Here too we can refresh ourselves. But here in Deuteronomy 8 it is directly the Holy Spirit. These waters are in valleys and hills, in the depths and on the heights of faith. The fruit in the land is everything that we learn to distinguish from the blessings of the land by the Holy Spirit.
Moses in his speech repeatedly speaks to the Israelites in the plains of Moab about “the good land” they will inherit (Deu 1:3535‘Not one of these men, this evil generation, shall see the good land which I swore to give your fathers,; 3:2525Let me, I pray, cross over and see the fair land that is beyond the Jordan, that good hill country and Lebanon.’; 4:21-2221“Now the LORD was angry with me on your account, and swore that I would not cross the Jordan, and that I would not enter the good land which the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance.22For I will die in this land, I shall not cross the Jordan, but you shall cross and take possession of this good land.; 6:1818You shall do what is right and good in the sight of the LORD, that it may be well with you and that you may go in and possess the good land which the LORD swore to [give] your fathers,). After exploring Canaan, Caleb even speaks of an “exceedingly good land” (Num 14:77and they spoke to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, saying, “The land which we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land.). It is “a land flowing with milk and honey” (Deu 6:33O Israel, you should listen and be careful to do [it], that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, [in] a land flowing with milk and honey.). The good land forms a great contrast with the great and terrible wilderness through which they have gone.
Here we find a detailed description of the land in which the LORD will bring them. In this description, the word “land” is mentioned seven times, indicating that it is a land where God gives perfect blessing. The land is:
1. a good land (verses 7a,10b7For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills;10When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you.);
2. a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs (verse 7b7For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills;);
3. a land of wheat and barley, of vines, fig trees and pomegranates (verse 8a8a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey;);
4. a land of olive oil and honey (verse 8b8a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey;);
5. a land where there will be no poverty and no want of anything (verse 9a9a land where you will eat food without scarcity, in which you will not lack anything; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper.);
6. a land whose stones are iron and where one can dig copper out of the hills (verse 9b9a land where you will eat food without scarcity, in which you will not lack anything; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper.);
7. a land of praise for the rich blessing, the abundance which God has given them (verse 1010When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you.).
Life in the promised land is a richly blessed life. Thus Christ now gives life and abundance to His own. He says: “I came that they may have life, and have [it] abundantly” (Jn 10:1010The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have [it] abundantly.). For that they may thank Him also.
This blessing of the land gives a picture of the multitude of blessings that the Christian finds in the heavenly places. “The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly [places] in Christ,” (Eph 1:33Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly [places] in Christ,). Our blessings are related to the knowledge of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Our position as children, sons and heirs is based on this. This should also result in great gratitude and praise with us for the Source of our blessing, as the Apostle also clearly states: “Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph 1:3a3Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly [places] in Christ,)!
The land is well supplied with water. God takes care of that. The streams of water are a picture of the heavenly gift we have received as believers in the Holy Spirit of Whom we are “given to drink” (1Cor 12:1313For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.). It is the Spirit who opens up to us and makes fruitful the good land which we have received as Christians, the land of blessing in the heavenly realms. If we sow in this “field”, we will “reap eternal life out of the Spirit” (Gal 6:88For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.). Eternal life, the precious fruit of the good land promised to us, is the knowledge of and the life community with the Father and the Son: “This is eternal life, that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ Who sent You” (Jn 17:33This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.).
That there is “a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs” is a sign of the abundance and rich working of the Spirit. When we think of “brooks of water”, we should not think of small, shallow waters, but of rivers and streams (Psa 65:9-109You visit the earth and cause it to overflow;
You greatly enrich it;
The stream of God is full of water;
You prepare their grain, for thus You prepare the earth.
10You water its furrows abundantly,
You settle its ridges,
You soften it with showers,
You bless its growth.
). The Spirit is the “well of water springing up to eternal life” (Jn 4:1414but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”). The “springs” are deep waters, floods of water, originating from subterranean water reservoirs – see the blessing of Joseph (Gen 49:2525From the God of your father who helps you,
And by the Almighty who blesses you
[With] blessings of heaven above,
Blessings of the deep that lies beneath,
Blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
; Deu 33:1313Of Joseph he said,
“Blessed of the LORD [be] his land,
With the choice things of heaven, with the dew,
And from the deep lying beneath,
). Here we can think of “the depths of God” (1Cor 2:1010For to us God revealed [them] through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.), the mysteries of the wisdom of God, as revealed by the Spirit and recorded in the scriptures of the New Testament.
The waters can be found everywhere in the land, on the mountains and in the valleys. They appear in the valleys, but also in the mountains (Eze 31:3-43‘Behold, Assyria [was] a cedar in Lebanon
With beautiful branches and forest shade,
And very high,
And its top was among the clouds.
4‘The waters made it grow, the deep made it high.
With its rivers it continually extended all around its planting place,
And sent out its channels to all the trees of the field.
). God “does not give the Spirit in moderation” (Jn 3:3434For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure.). If we cannot perceive the working of the Spirit in our lives, we must first seek the cause of it in ourselves. We can grieve the Spirit (Eph 4:3030Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.) and even extinguish it, or extinguish it (1Thes 5:1919Do not quench the Spirit;).
The fountains in the valleys point more to the working of the Spirit here below, on earth. He dwells in us on earth and fills our hearts and our lives. The springs on the hills remind us of Christ in glory Who has clothed us with power from on high (Lk 24:4949And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”).
The fruit that the land produces is seven-fold. Egypt has only six ‘fruits’: “The fish …, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic’ (Num 11:55We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic,).
The first fruits of the land that are mentioned are “wheat and barley”. In Leviticus 23 is the sheaf of the first fruits of the barley harvest; the two wave breads at the Feast of Weeks are of the wheat harvest. The sheaf of the first fruits speaks of the Lord Jesus in the resurrection; the wave breads speak of the church, the heavenly fruit of the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus.
Barley and wheat appear in the Gospel to John. In John 6 we read of “five barley loaves” (Jn 6:99“There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?”). That makes us think of the resurrection. Four times in that chapter the Lord Jesus speaks about the resurrection and that in connection with eternal life. He is the bread that descended from heaven. Eternal life is resurrection life that we can possess because the Lord Jesus passed through death and rose.
In John 12 we read about the wheat: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (Jn 12:2424Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.). There we see that life is not only resurrection life, but that it is heavenly life. The Lord Jesus speaks there about life to “keep it to life eternal” (Jn 12:2525He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.), which is enjoyed when we are with Him and the Father. Death then has no more power over us.
The third fruit comes from the “vines”. The wine is a picture of joy. In John 15, the Lord Jesus speaks of true, complete joy. The result of the connection with the Lord Jesus and the keeping of the commandments is joy (Jn 15:10-1110If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.11These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and [that] your joy may be made full.). The bond of love and fellowship is knowing each other and leads to keeping the commandments that are characteristic of eternal life. Complete joy is the joy of knowing the Father and the Son.
The fourth, fifth and sixth fruits come from “fig trees and pomegranates” and “olive oil”. These fruits we find in the letters of Paul. The fig tree speaks of the “peaceful fruit of righteousness” (Heb 12:1111All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.), the pomegranate of the “fruit of sanctification” (Rom 6:2222But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.) and the olive tree of “the fruit of the Spirit” (Gal 5:2222But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,).
The fig tree is a picture of the people of God from whom God could expect fruits. However, the fig tree has not given fruit and is cursed (Mt 21:18-1918Now in the morning, when He was returning to the city, He became hungry.19Seeing a lone fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it except leaves only; and He *said to it, “No longer shall there ever be [any] fruit from you.” And at once the fig tree withered.). After their sin, Adam and Eve “sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings” (Gen 3:7b7Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.), as if they could exist for God. But a self-made garment, a garment of own righteousness, is reprehensible.
The fruit of righteousness originates from chastisement. Chastisement is the part of sons in whom the Father has a pleasure. He uses chastisement to remove what is not to His pleasure in those sons. The Father wants to become conformed to the image of His Son (Rom 8:2929For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined [to become] conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;). Chastisement is not pleasant, but gives that fruit of righteousness (Heb 12:1111All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.).
Pomegranates have to do with the high priest, the sanctuary and a closed garden:
1. They are on the high priest’s garment (Exo 39:24-2624They made pomegranates of blue and purple and scarlet [material and] twisted [linen] on the hem of the robe.25They also made bells of pure gold, and put the bells between the pomegranates all around on the hem of the robe,26alternating a bell and a pomegranate all around on the hem of the robe for the service, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.).
2. They are also on the capitals of the pillars in the temple (1Kgs 7:18,20,4218So he made the pillars, and two rows around on the one network to cover the capitals which were on the top of the pomegranates; and so he did for the other capital.20[There were] capitals on the two pillars, even above [and] close to the rounded projection which was beside the network; and the pomegranates [numbered] two hundred in rows around both capitals.42and the four hundred pomegranates for the two networks, two rows of pomegranates for each network to cover the two bowls of the capitals which [were] on the tops of the pillars;).
3. They are mentioned when the bridegroom compares his bride to a garden with pomegranate trees that is locked and is only open for him (Song 4:12-1312“A garden locked is my sister, [my] bride,
A rock garden locked, a spring sealed up.13“Your shoots are an orchard of pomegranates
With choice fruits, henna with nard plants,
It is a fruit that speaks of sanctification.
Olive trees speak of an abundance of activity of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is the fruit of the land (Gal 5:2222But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,). There is no law – which is given to man in the flesh on earth – against such things. “The one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life” (Gal 6:88For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.).
The seventh and last fruit, the “honey”, is not a fruit of trees, but a fruit produced by the zeal of bees. It is the sweetness of the affection of believers among themselves. It proposes to enjoy together with all believers the blessing of eternal life. God wants to gather His people together to enjoy with them of the Lord Jesus. In his first letter John speaks first of fellowship with the apostles and then of fellowship with the Father and the Son (1Jn 1:33what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.).
The mineral resources (verse 99a land where you will eat food without scarcity, in which you will not lack anything; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper.) are the most difficult to discover. To deepen this, a lot of effort is required. Not all blessings are on the surface. “Iron” and “copper” speak of strength. Iron speaks of victory; copper speaks of a righteousness so great that it can endure the judgment of God (Num 16:37-3837“Say to Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, that he shall take up the censers out of the midst of the blaze, for they are holy; and you scatter the burning coals abroad.38As for the censers of these men who have sinned at the cost of their lives, let them be made into hammered sheets for a plating of the altar, since they did present them before the LORD and they are holy; and they shall be for a sign to the sons of Israel.”).
In the blessing which Moses pronounces on Asher, he says that his bars will be iron and bronze (Deu 33:2525“Your locks will be iron and bronze,
And according to your days, so will your leisurely walk be.). When the wall around Jerusalem is rebuilt, the bars for the sheep gate are not mentioned; apparently, they are forgotten to be placed (Neh 3:11Then Eliashib the high priest arose with his brothers the priests and built the Sheep Gate; they consecrated it and hung its doors. They consecrated the wall to the Tower of the Hundred [and] the Tower of Hananel.; cf. Neh 3:33Now the sons of Hassenaah built the Fish Gate; they laid its beams and hung its doors with its bolts and bars.). If the bars are not on the doors, the enemy can enter and rob us of the blessings.
In Job 28 we see the bars on the doors. They are hidden and the eye of the raptor has not discovered them. Iron and copper can be found, but wisdom, where is she found? But God knows, “God understands its way” (Job 28:2323“God understands its way,
And He knows its place.
). The answer comes some verses further: “And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding’” (Job 28:2828“And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom;
And to depart from evil is understanding.’”). For the avoidance of evil, to forbid it entrance, iron and copper are suitable. True wisdom and real understanding are awe for the Lord and depart from evil, they are the basic elements to preserve the blessing of the land.
It is a land of abundance, where the believer has no shortage of anything. The effect of all the blessings enjoyed must be that we praise God for it. Praising the Lord for all His blessings also prevents us from forgetting Him. If all Christians knew and appreciated the blessing of the land, the land would be full of praise (Eph 3:2121to Him [be] the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.). Heaven shall be full of praise to God, the Giver of every blessing, and to the Lamb, by Whom it has become possible for us to receive the full blessing.